Having adequate legal counsel can make a big difference when trying to obtain immigration benefits or when dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). As much as the USCIS tries to make the immigration process easy to manage and understand, it is far from perfect and infamous for making complex issues more confusing or challenging for those in the system. For this reason, it is highly recommended immigrants choose a San Diego immigration lawyer who has experience handling similar situations and a well-rounded understanding of the immigration process.
Getting references from other clients is often a good start, particularly if the recommendations come from relatives, friends, or coworkers who’ve had a seamless experience with the attorney. Needless to say, a reference should not preclude checking a lawyer’s background and his or her good standing with the State Bar Association. It is important to remember that any disciplinary or administrative actions taken against an attorney by a Bar Association are matters of public record.
When evaluating the level of experience and commitment of an attorney to the immigration practice, it is useful to check for membership in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Membership in this association is not compulsory. However, being actively involved in one or more sections of AILA is a sign of an attorney that is truly dedicated to the immigration practice.
Although many USCIS matters are largely procedural, some situations may require a higher degree of skill and experience. Removal or deportation orders, for example, are handled by a judicial review conducted by the Executive Office for Immigration Review. Thereby, the ideal counsel to handle one of these cases would be a lawyer with a history of prevailing at removal hearings. To this effect, attorneys who have prevailed in asylum and appellate cases, or who actively work with immigration advocacy organizations, can also be of great benefit. It is important to note that extensive experience may also result in higher legal fees for complicated cases.
An additional consideration should also be given to a potential immigration lawyer’s business and employment history. Prior experience at USCIS, formally known as INS, or at related agencies such as Customs and Border Patrol, may signal a lawyer who knows how the system works from an administrative point of view.
If you are looking for a lawyer who will take the time to understand your case and help you through the immigration process from start to finish, reach out to KS Visa Law. We offer free immigration law consultations in San Diego and can provide you with the resources and support you and your family needs. Please call us today at (858) 874-0711.